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The Yemen Tragedy and the Ongoing Crisis of the Left in the United States

The Yemen Tragedy and the Ongoing Crisis of the Left in the United States

Ajamu Baraka

"… It is Western propaganda that is capable of mobilizing the masses for whatever ends or goals anywhere in the world. For whatever reasons, it can trigger coups, conflicts, terrible violence, and ‘strive for change.’ It can call the most peaceful large country on earth the most violent; it can describe it as the real threat to world peace; and it can call a bunch of Western nations that have been, for centuries, terrorizing the world, the true upholders of peace and democracy, and almost everybody believes it.


Many of us who support Sanders are not silent on these issues, not does Sanders truly represent “the left.” We support Sanders because he is by far the best choice possible but as a recent petition to him demonstrates – we are deeply troubled by his lack of moral continuity where foreign policy is concerned. Is he willing to confront the CIA controlled Deep State that runs foreign policy? Is he part of the problem? What are our alternatives? Sanders must feel the heat on these vital issues but, barring better realistic alternatives, we needn’t be a circular firing squad seizing defeat from the possibility of progress.


Thank you for a great article.
Ajamu, I believe you are mistaken on some of the real issues and motivations in what is becoming an awakening in a worldwide view of the destruction and mayhem being done in our name. The necons have had a decades long run with the funding of the Empire of destruction by the military industrial complex, transnational corporations and banksters. It is a battle for change of the status quo of those who enable the evil that has become front and center under the pretext of National Security. We must throw off the shackles that have allowed what you describe in your article.
There has been a long running coup that is going to take choosing our battles carefully. Recognizing what is wrong and correcting them against the strangle hold that has gripped our main street media and politicians will not be a one strike cures all. In Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” we can find a treasure of ways to do battle. “We must fight our enemy where he is not” Attacking directly at the strength of the enemy is never a good battle to choose in war when there are more efficient strategies available.
I disagree with the view of “But we also need Sanders to be clear about what he would do as commander in chief of the world’s leading military power.” We are seeing a steady stance from Bernie from not attending Netanyahu address of Congress (treasonous act from the Republicans and neocons) a defeat of Netanyahu, AIAPC and neocons’ war mongering for war with Iran. Bernie has introduced in the Senate his stated stance against the neocon wars including Iraq and in his latest defiance introducing a war tax which would address never ending wars of the powers to be.
I will echo Dr. Cornel West here, “My endorsement of Brother Bernie in the primaries is not an affirmation of the neo-liberal Democratic Party or a downplaying of the immorality of the ugly Israeli occupation of Palestinians. I do so because he is a long-distance runner with integrity in the struggle for justice for over 50 years. Now is the time for his prophetic voice to be heard across our crisis-ridden country, even as we push him with integrity toward a more comprehensive vision of freedom for all.”


War tax link

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The usurious Financial Capitalist Empire is a complicated thing. Addressing inequality at home, which Bernie is doing, intrinsically is at odds with addressing inequality abroad under the current economic paradigm. Usury-based capital seeks maximum exploitation with mammon as its god, yet claims to be amoral in nature (some argue it to be ultimately moral a la Ayn Rand). Removal of the usury would go a long way to addressing both intra- and inter-inequality issues. I hope that Bernie listens to some of the economists/ecologists that get this important need.

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Money is the root of all evil.

The actual saying is “The love of money is the root of all evil.” The difference is profound. Money itself is a fiction and can be used in various ways. The deification of money, the golden calf, as it were, is where it goes astray. Detach the idolatry and one might have a chance at rescuing this planet from the harrowing future the current system would bestow upon it and us.

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Every anti-Sanders op-ed piece from the far left makes Sanders more electable. Keep the how left can you go limbo party going, Counterpunch. It’s a brilliant strategy. And keep telling us how Sanders is no Jeremy Corbyn, because we really want him to be elected not just run (and so do you, wink, wink).

And if Sanders defeats all expectations and wins the election, keep the sound and the fury coming.

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We have “realistic alternatives” - one, at least, will be on the ballot in November, in many, if not all, states - why vote for someone that “deeply troubles you” when you can support someone who would not … vote Green …

Yeah, he is “part of the problem” …

Sanders, i am sure, has been “feeling the heat” for years re his FP issues, but all it has done is warm his coffee …

You would sacrifice those abroad for the sake of potentially dealing with “inequality” at home - bad bargain, IMO …


Why support someone you have to “push with integrity” when you could support someone who already has it? Vote Green …

Notice West said “in the primaries” …


Why would he, if he hasn’t done so so far?


Great piece! Amazed, but glad, CD printed it!

This sums up and does a much better job of pointing out why FP is NOT a peripheral issue and can be practically, not to mention morally, ignored …

If you think folks like this just might do a better job handling our FP - support Stein …

Somehow i think the oft repeated “Go, Bernie, go!” might not be quite appropriate here …


Another shot from the ‘foreign affairs are all that matter’ crowd.

There is no question that foreign affairs are an important part of a candidate’s platform, but it isn’t the only part.

And those who like to comment only on Bernie’s position on foreign foreign affairs & the military slant his positions to present them in the worst possible light, like saying he’s “…someone who clearly believes that Israeli lives matter more than Palestinian and Yemeni lives.”

That is a total misrepresentation of his position.

But that’s what the single-issue anti-Bernie crowd like to do.

Not only that, they confine themselves to attacking Bernie’s foreign policy and totally disregard where his is in relation to other electable candidates.

Have any of the other major candidates ever:

Spoken out against Netanyahu or against Israel’s actions during Operation Protective Edge?
Said they want to keep U.S. troops out of a war with Syria?
Voted against the Iraq war?
Spoken against increasing the military budget?


So Sanders is clearly the best of the bunch when it comes to military policy and foreign affairs.

So why do so many on the left, instead of supporting the only progressive candidate getting national attention, focus solely on their opposition to Sander’s foreign policy?

They rail incessantly about it and never say a thing about his support for single-payer healthcare, his bill to increase of the minimum wage to $15., his bill to make 4 year public college education free - and pay for it by taxing Wall Street, his opposition to the oligarchs/billionaires and Citizen’s United, his opposition to TPP and the Keystone pipeline…

So what motivates these ‘progressives’? Why are their discussions about Bernie limited to only what they oppose him on? Who benefits from this single-issue chorus of disapproval?

It certainly isn’t the public. It isn’t those overseas who’ll be subjected to the bellicose policies of a Clinton or Trump. It isn’t college students. It isn’t the environment. It isn’t those who need a real healthcare plan instead of mandated payments to insurance companies. It isn’t those in need of a living wage.

The only ones who’ll benefit are those these progressives claim they’re against: The Oligarchs and the military-industrial complex. The health insurance and prescription drug companies. The oil companies. The neocons.

So why are supposed progressives acting against what they claim to want and for what they claim to oppose?

What has led them to their counter-productive, single issue opposition to Sanders?


Actually, Bernie does not trouble me and voting green is a waste as is the lesser of two evils. The Green Party needs to run on local platforms but not waste the money and energy on national elections until they can get on the ballot in all 50 stated with a real chance of doing some good for the nation.


I’ve been a little down lately because I’m getting reports that Sanders is not doing well in the city I love Chicago, Illinois, among the African American Community. Here’s an African American writer from The Black Agenda Report doing all he can to discourage, not just readers here on CD, but the greater African American community to think less of Bernie. Not to think less of Bernie only, but to almost revert to a position of inertia and doing nothing, he offers no alternative, realistic alternative. For what purpose is this being done? Friends tell me Hillary, unfortunately, still has a huge lead in the African American community in Chicago. Does this writer think Hillary is more likely to change American foreign policy? What is the African American agenda? What is the bread and butter African American agenda? Single issue politics is a killer.

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Well the uninformed can’t make a decision that is in their interest because they either don’t know the real issues or are operating off the main street media that is corporate owned. Divide and conquer has worked so well in the past and quite frankly they are a one trick ponies. Basic questions reveal where their interest would be advanced not sucker punched one more time. Who was responsible for the current prison crisis cycle of minorities? Who is responsible for the repeal of Glass Seagal? Why would you vote for a repeat of the past?

Then you have the trolls spreading divide and conquer masquerading as Greens, Liberals, and Libertarians.

Don’t be down, squash that frown!

Bernie for President, we can start that political revolution now!


Nowhere doe the piece say that “foreign affairs are all that matters” - simply how important, and integral they are to a candidate’s platform …

So if Palestinian an Yemeni lives matter as much as Israeli lives - how can Sanders take the positions he does, as outlined in this piece, or do you deny those positions - that amount to, e.g, let the Saidi’s do the dirty work - while we continue to provide the weapons that allow it - how dishonest is that …

Again, there is no need to dissect others positions in this regard - they are quite clear, It is Sanders positions that, in fact, appear to be more “misrepresented” by his supporters than by his detractors …

He is the “best of the bunch” only if you consider D/Rs and even there, i think Paul might be more anti-war than Sanders, though i cannot speak to that …

Our motives? To stop this travesty we call a FP …

Sui bono? The folks we are slaughtering, not to mention those of us who want to see it stop …

It is not we who are acting against what we claim to want - it is those who support candidates who support what they claim to oppose …

This article is very cogent in explaining why this issue IS so important, why it cannot be brushed aside with the dismissive “single issue” diminutive …

And what other “single issues” will you dismiss if they run counter to the “Sanders is our great hope” narrative …

As they say “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play”


Well Strein was on enough state ballots in '12 to get enough EC votes to win - and that would have been a real chance of doing some good for the nation …

So for whom will you “waste” your vote?


Methinks the case is being made for someone with a decent FP - that leaves out D/Rs - so who else is left? Hmmm, now let me think …


It’s true, the uninformed can’t make a decision that is in their best interest - this article helps to “inform” …

Hmm, let’s see - who was responsible for all those ills - was it the Rs? Yeah. Was it the Ds? Yeah - why son of a gun it was the duopoly … So why WOULD you vote for a repeat of the past …

So you think Green supporters are trolls?